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Curtis Cup matches tighten up

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NAIRN, Scotland – Britain and Ireland moved within a point of the United States in the Curtis Cup on Saturday, taking 2 1/2 of 3 points in the afternoon fourball matches.

The United States led, 6 1/2-5 1/2, entering the eight singles matches Sunday. The Americans need 10 points to retain the Cup, while Britain and Ireland needs 10 1/2 to regain it. The United States has won the biennial amateur competition the last seven times and leads the series 27-6-3.

''It is absolutely fantastic and I could not have asked more from the girls,'' B&I captain Tegwen Matthews said. ''The Curtis Cup is all I have thought about for the last two years and to be now just a point behind is so exciting.''

Brooke Pancake and Austin Ernst earned a half-point for the United States in the afternoon matches, halving with Leona Maguire and Bronte Law. Britain and Ireland's Holly Clyburn and Kelly Tidy beat Emily Tubert and Amy Anderson, 1 up, and Stephanie Meadow and Pamela Pretswell topped Erica Popson and Tiffany Lua, 2 up.

''They played hard, they hit quality shots coming in,'' said U.S. captain Cornett, who returned after breaking her ankle Friday in a cart accident. ''Nobody should be hanging their head. We're still ahead.''

In the morning foursomes, Anderson and Lua beat Pretswell and Charley Hull, 3 and 2, and Ernst and Pancake edged Clyburn and Amy Boulden, 2 up. For Britain and Ireland, Meadow and Maguire topped Lindy Duncan and Lisa McCloskey, 3 and 1.

The 19-year-old Anderson, from Oxbow, N.D., leads the U.S. with a 3-1 record.

''I am a little amped up,'' Anderson said. ''I think there is a lot of adrenaline running on both sides right now.''